Celebrities Unite! 50 Actors, Athletes and CEOs Sponsor Massive Surprise Flash-Funding for Classrooms

Ashton Kutcher says his teachers in Iowa went "above and beyond" for him

Photo: Randy Holmes/ABC/Getty

Fifty of your favorite actors, athletes and CEOs have been keeping a HUGE secret for the past year – and they’re finally ready to spill the good news!

In a mass act of generosity, stars like Gwyneth Paltrow, Serena Williams, Anna Kendrick and Ashton Kutcher are ensuring that American schoolchildren from cities important to them have the #BestSchoolDay ever by flash-funding classrooms in need.

On Tuesday, the stars will be donating well over $12 million in total to DonorsChoose.org, a site where teachers post classroom project requests ranging from art supplies to new computers to robotics kits.

Hoping to prove the “best school day” ever really does exist, the altruistic celebs have pre-recorded video of themselves describing their own favorite school memories.

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“They inspired me and made me believe and probably believed in me more than I believed in myself,” That ’70s Show actor Ashton Kutcher, says of his grade school teachers in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today without them,” says Kutcher.

He has pledged to support all Iowa classrooms requesting supplies.

Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard has committed to funding all of the Houston, Texas, classroom requests on DonorsChoose.org.

“I know how hard teachers are working in Houston,” Howard says in an exclusive statement to PEOPLE. “I’m particularly a big supporter of early childhood literacy, so I want all of the young students in Houston to have the books they need to get a good start.

“My school was so supportive of me when I was growing up,” he adds. “When I announced to my teachers and friends that I was going to the NBA, people cheered and danced and cried. I felt so lucky. Our kids need to be able to dream big!”

Samuel L. Jackson, a “proud” Chattanooga, Tennessee, Riverside High School graduate, gives a shout-out to his old stomping grounds, while agreeing to finance all DonorsChoose.org schools in the area.

“Maybe some of your dreams will come true like mine ” The Hateful Eight star says smiling into the camera as he pans across the ocean-view in the background. “Coming to Australia!”

Although world tennis champion Serena Williams never won a spelling bee, participating in spelling competitions was her favorite pastime growing up.

“It was so cool, because there are prizes!” she says with a laugh. “It inspired me to work harder.”

The athletic superstar will be donating supplies (and tennis balls!) to schools in the Compton, California, area where she first started playing tennis with her sister, Venus Williams.

Seth Rogen and his wife, Lauren Miller Rogen, will fund all projects in Sonoma County, California, where the couple got married in 2011.

“[Sonoma] has a very special place in our hearts!” says Miller Rogen.

Thanks to a $3.2 million match offer underwritten by Google co-founder, Sergey Brin, and WhatsApp founder, Brian Acton, all donations to classroom projects through the #BestSchoolDay initiative will be doubled.

To make donations to classrooms and see which celebs are participating, visit DonorsChoose.org.

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